- 7 years ago
- Wedding: May 2012
I wanted to get a pretty soiled sample dress cleaned before I wore it. I went to a few places around town — including the place that both of my wedding dress shops (I purchased multiple dresses) recommended but the woman was not very nice. Other places did not actually do the cleaning themselves and used a company on the east coast. I did my research and the company received many positive reviews. Plus the price to clean and preserve was cheaper than some of the local places. This was explained to me that without a storefront, they are able to keep prices lower.
I asked about just getting it cleaned without preserving and they told me that preservation is cleaning plus an additional step to remove invisible stains that can later ruin a dress. I thought that all sounded good. I was told the entire process takes about 4-6 weeks. I purchased the kit around the third week of October. As soon as I got the kit, I shipped it out the very next day. The dress sat for over a week after receipt before anyone took a look at it.
I was patient and thought maybe the 4-6 weeks was counting when they actually start on it. I got it back last Thursday — 3 months later. I opened it up on Saturday. I was a little worried when a brand new Sara Gabriel veil was scrunched up in the box with the dress. I decided to send in one veil since up to 3-4 items were included in the price. I pulled out the dress and the dress looked like it was not pressed. I didn’t do a complete inspection because I was trying to get it hung up before the cats came running in.
I contacted the company and asked if they perhaps missed a step. They were very responsive and said they would send me a UPS shipping label to send it back for pressing. I didn’t want to risk it taking another 3 months to be returned to me. I decided to see if I could simply get it pressed locally.
The first wedding gown place would not touch the dress. The second place quoted me $589 to restore the dress. WTF?!! Restore?!! Three of the specialists inspected the gown and said that it looked like it was either cleaned in “non-virgin” solution or the buttons were not covered properly to prevent a chemical reaction between the material under the buttons and the cleaning solution. Another specialist noticed a rippling pattern on the bodice of the dress — he said that’s an indication of the dress being washed in water. I was like in a washing machine? Instead of paying a few hundred dollars to send to a specialist, I could have taken it to the laundromat and paid $1.25 to wash it? I’m not sure of the methods used but they said silk should not be washed in water. Now I’m wondering if the silk mikado has shrunk a bit because according to Vera’s size chart, my bust should fit into the dress.
The other problem is the hand cut raw edged silk organza swirls are wrinkled and frayed. The crinoline is a twisted mess. They all said the dress looked really pretty and then one of the specialists looked at the care label and said, “a wedding dress cleaning company did this to a Vera Wang?” They couldn’t tell it was a Vera Wang without looking at the label.
They couldn’t guarantee that they could completely fix it. I told them I will call the original company to see if trying to restore it locally and having them pay for it is an option. But the more I think about it, the more I think that it would take a miracle to restore it.
The sort of good news is that I had the foresight to add additional insurance and I will know early next week if they will attempt fixing it or just pay out. The problem is that even if they pay for a replacement, I’m not sure I can get a new one in time. I’m also not sure if they still sell a dress from the Fall 2010 line. I cannot access the Vera Wang site right now and the only boutique in town that sells Vera Wang is currently closed. It’s from Priscilla and they went out of business the end of last year.
I have another backup dress hanging in my closet and it looks great and I like it but I don’t love love it. I know things can be worse and maybe I’m thinking too much.
I’m not saying the name of the company just yet because so far the customer service has been very responsive and it sounds like they will work with me. I want to give them a fair chance to make this right.
I can’t be the first bride to get a dress cleaned/preserved before wearing it am I? I’m not sure why I’m posting or what I’m trying to ask but I just wanted to see if anyone has gone through this and what kind of outcome to expect? Or maybe I’m trying to tell my story so that this doesn’t happen to anyone else? Or maybe I just want someone to tell me everything will be fine and to stop freaking out.